9377 resolving to accept Smartmatic-TIMs offer to extend the period to exercise the OTP until March 31, 2012 and to authorize Chairman Brillantes to sign for and on behalf of the Comelec the Agreement on the Extension of the OTP Under the AES Contract resolving to approve the Deed of Sale between the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM to purchase the latters PCOS machines (hardware and software) to be used in the upcoming May 2013 elections and to authorize Chairman Brillantes to sign the Deed of Sale for and on behalf of the Comelec. Claiming that the foregoing issuances of the Comelec, as well as the transactions entered pursuant thereto, are illegal and unconstitutional, petitioners come before the Court in four separate Petitions for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus imputing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the Comelec in issuing the assailed Resolutions and in executing the assailed Extension Agreement and Deed. This, according to petitioners, amounts to a direct transgression of the exclusive mandate of the Comelec completely to take charge of the enforcement and administration of the conduct of elections. Petitioners fault the Comelec in totally disregarding the recommendation of the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) not to exercise the OTP. 2012-2003, the CAC resolved to recommend that the Comelec should exert all efforts to procure the necessary AES only through public bidding. Petitioners claim that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in contracting for the purchase of AES goods and services from Smartmatic-TIM in spite of the below par performance of the latters PCOS machines, CCS and other software and hardware in the May 2010 elections and non-compliance with the minimum functional capabilities required by law. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x G. Linda Olaguer; RAMON PEDROSA, BENJAMIN PAULINO SR., EVELYN CORONEL, MA. On March 29, 2012, the Comelec issued Resolution No. Lastly, petitioners claim that the Comelec does not have the capability to purchase and maintain the PCOS machines, because of lack of trained manpower and technical expertise to properly maintain the PCOS machines; thus, the purchase is unfavorable to the general public. The control of the software and process verification systems places the Comelec at the end of the process as it merely receives the report of Smartmatic-TIM. Pabillo, Solita Collas Monsod, Maria Corazon Mendoza Acol, Fr. 9376 void and unconstitutional and annul the Deed of Sale; and direct the Comelec to conduct public bidding soonest for the automated election system to be used for the 2013 elections.The Term of this Contract begins from the date of effectivity until the release of the Performance Security, without prejudice to the surviving provisions of this Contract, including the warranty provision as prescribed in Article 8.3 and the period of the option to purchase (Emphasis supplied).

According to petitioners, the Comelec itself provided in its bid bulletins for a fixed and determinate period, and such period ended on December 31, 2010. Whether or not the acceptance of the extension and the issuance of Comelec En Banc Resolution No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and its Implementing Rules, and Republic Act No. The parties were, thereafter, required to submit their Memoranda. Simply stated, petitioners assail the validity and constitutionality of the Comelec Resolutions for the purchase of the subject PCOS machines as well as the Extension Agreement and the Deed of Sale covering said goods mainly on three grounds: (1) the option period provided for in the AES contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM had already lapsed and, thus, could no longer be extended, such extension being prohibited by the contract; (2) the extension of the option period and the exercise of the option without competitive public bidding contravene the provisions of RA 9184; and, (3) despite the palpable infirmities and defects of the PCOS machines, the Comelec purchased the same in contravention of the standards laid down in RA 9369.

Thus, Smartmatic-TIM could not have unilaterally extended the option period and the Comelec could not have also given its consent to the extension. For its part, the Comelec defends the validity and constitutionality of its decision to purchase the subject PCOS machines, pursuant to the OTP under the AES contract with Smartmatic-TIM, on the following grounds: (1) Article 6.6 of the AES contract which states the option period was amended by the extension agreement; (2) the exercise of the OTP is not covered by RA 9184, because it is merely an implementation of a previously bidded contract; (3) taking into account the funds available for the purpose, exercising the OTP was the prudent choice for the Comelec and is more advantageous to the government; and (4) the exercise of the OTP is consistent with the technical requirements of RA 9369.

In extending the option period, it is tantamount to giving the winning bidder a benefit that was not known and available to all bidders during the bidding of the 2010 AES, which is a clear violation of the bidding rules and the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Stated in another way, Smartmatic-TIM insists on the validity of the subject transaction based on the following grounds: (1) there is no prohibition either in the contract or provision of law for it to extend the option period; rather, the contract itself allows the parties to amend the same; (2) the OTP is not an independent contract in itself, but is a provision contained in the valid and existing AES contract that had already satisfied the public bidding requirements of RA 9184; (3) exercising the option was the most advantageous option of the Comelec; and (4) Smartmatic-TIM has an established track record in providing effective and accurate electoral solutions and its satisfactory performance has been proven during the 2010 elections. Commission on Elections: There can be no doubt that the coming [in this case, May 2013] elections is a matter of great public concern.

Considering that the option period already expired, the purchase of the PCOS machines requires competitive public bidding. The alleged glitches in the May 2010 elections, if at all, are not attributable to the PCOS machines. At the outset, we brush aside the procedural barriers (i.e., locus standi of petitioners and the non-observance of the hierarchy of courts) that supposedly prevent the Court from entertaining the consolidated petitions. On election day, the country's registered voters will come out to exercise the sacred right of suffrage.

201121 SOLIDARITY FOR SOVEREIGNTY (S4S), represented by Ma. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, represented by its Chairman, Commissioner SIXTO S. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x G. 9373 resolving to exercise the OTP the PCOS and CCS hardware and software in accordance with the AES contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM in connection with the May 10, 2010 elections subject to the following conditions: (1) the warranties agreed upon in the AES contract shall be in full force and effect; (2) the original price for the hardware and software covered by the OTP as specified in the AES contract shall be maintained, excluding the cost of the 920 units of PCOS and related peripherals previously purchased for use in the 2010 special elections; and (3) all other services related to the 2013 AES shall be subject to public bidding. Petitioners submit that there are intrinsic technical infirmities as regards the PCOS machines used during the 2010 elections which rendered it incapable for future use. The purchase of the PCOS machines for use in the May 2013 elections would be tantamount to a complete surrender and abdication of the Comelecs constitutional mandate in favor of Smartmatic-TIM. 201127, petitioners Teofisto Guingona, Bishop Broderick S. 9376 and the Deed of Sale for the acquisition and purchase of the PCOS machines and related equipment; issue writ of preliminary injunction; declare Comelec Resolution No.

On March 6, 2012, the Comelec issued Resolution No. Petitioners add that the current PCOS machines do not meet the rigorous requirements of RA 9369 that the system procured must have demonstrated capability and should have been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad. Petitioners also contend that the Comelecs decision to purchase and use the PCOS machines is unconstitutional, as it allows the Comelec to abrogate its constitutional duty to safeguard the election process by subcontracting the same to an independent provider (Smartmatic-TIM), who controls the software that safeguards the entire election process. Colina pray that the Court issue a TRO enjoining and restraining respondents Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM from implementing Comelec Resolution No.

If there is anything capable of directly affecting the lives of ordinary Filipinos so as to come within the ambit of a public concern, it is the coming elections, more so with the alarming turn of events that continue to unfold.

The wanton wastage of public funds brought about by one bungled contract after another, in staggering amounts, is in itself a matter of grave public concern.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURTManila EN BANC G. 9376 is totally null and void having been issued in violation of the express provisions of RA 9184 and the AES contract. 201418, petitioners Tanggulang Demokrasya (Tan Dem), Inc., Evelyn L. Petitioners are of the view that there is no more OTP to speak of, because the option period already lapsed and could not be revived by the unilateral act of one of the contracting parties. Whether or not the Commission on Elections may validly accept the extension of time unilaterally given by Smartmatic-TIM Corporation within which to exercise the option to purchase under Article 4 of the Contract for the Provision of an Automated Election System for the May 2010 Synchronized National and Local Elections; and II.

In deciding to purchase the PCOS machines despite the above-enumerated defects, the Comelecs decision are claimed to be unconstitutional. Like the other petitioners, it is their position that Comelec Resolution No. They argue that there is enough time to conduct public bidding for the 2013 elections, considering that for the May 2010 elections, the Comelec only had 10 months and they were able to conduct the public bidding.

Thus, in view of the compelling significance and transcending public importance of the issues raised by petitioners, the technicalities raised by respondents should not be allowed to stand in the way, if the ends of justice would not be subserved by a rigid adherence to the rules of procedure. In order to achieve the modernization program of the Philippine Electoral System, which includes the automation of the counting, transmission and canvassing of votes for the May 2010 national and local elections with systems integration and over-all project management in a comprehensive and well-managed manner, the Comelec entered into an AES contract with Smartmatic-TIM for the lease of goods and purchase of services under the contract, with option to purchase the goods.